Did you know that you can permanently lose your hearing from exposure to loud noise?
Thirty six million Americans have hearing loss. 1 in 3 of those persons developed their hearing loss as a result of exposure to noise. May is Better Hearing Month and the audiologists at the Easter Seals Center for Better Hearing are encouraging individuals to protect their hearing. Some simple strategies to prevent hearing loss caused by noise exposure includes:
“Noise-induced hearing loss is caused by damage to tiny hair cells that are found in our inner ear. These hair cells convert the sounds we hear into electrical signals that travel to the brain. Once damaged, these hair cells cannot grow back, causing permanent hearing loss” explains Annette Burton, Au.D., the director of audiology for the Easter Seals Center for Better Hearing.
Noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by prolonged exposure to any loud noise such as concerts, sporting events, lawnmowers, fireworks, gun shots, custom car stereos at full volume, and more. “When an individual is exposed to loud sounds such as in a concert or after using power tools, their ears might seem “stuffy” afterwards. This phenomenon is a temporary hearing loss. Repeated temporary damage can lead to permanent hearing loss” explains Dr. Burton.
There are many options available for hearing protection. Ear muffs and ear plugs are sold in many hardware and sporting goods stores and are a good inexpensive solution. Custom and semi-custom hearing protection is available for many applications including specialized protection for musicians that allows certain sounds to be heard at lower levels without compromising sound quality.
Custom and semi-custom hearing protection can be obtained through an audiologist or online.
Hearing impairment not only affects the ability to understand speech but it also has a negative impact on your social and emotional well-being. If you suspect that you or your loved one may have hearing loss, make an appointment to see an audiologist. He or she will perform a hearing test to determine the type and severity of hearing loss you may have.
Easter Seals Center for Better Hearing has offices located in Waterbury, Southbury and Meriden. For more information call our staff Audiologists Dr. Annette Burton, Kay Yanagisawa, or Dr. John Byram at 203.754.5141.